“Agar the horrible” may have upset the Brits’ and their press with his stunning Ashes debut but back home young Ashton Agar has become hot marketing property.
The UK’s The Sun may be unsettled by the performance but the previously unknown 19-year old could be the next Weet-Bix kid, as experts predict a storm of endorsement offers for the sportsman.
The fact so little is known about him, combined with his stunning performance, makes Agar attractive to brands, according to M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment’s Jack Lamacraft.
“He is basically a blank canvas, people want to know more about him and brands can easily help facilitate that, he comes with no baggage,” Lamacraft explains.
“Looking through the rest of the Australian players he’d be of massive interest to brands, there are no players who really stand out apart from Michael Clarke and he’s over exposed and also has failed to win over the whole country despite his performances with the bat.
“I imagine his agent’s phone has been ringing off the hook this morning, brands will want to get in there as soon as possible, hopefully his agent will take a long term view and put his best interests first rather than cash in immediately.”
John Tripodi, chief executive of marketing consultancy business Twenty 3 Sport & Entertainment, agrees that Agar is on “the radar of potentially becoming ‘hot’ property”.
“He seems to have all the marketable traits to potentially make a great ambassador – youthful, good looking, physical presence, presents well, determined, competitive, humble, and most importantly, he’s technically good at his craft,” Tripodi told B&T.
In addition to potentially becoming marketing gold, he has injected hope back in the Aussies’ Ashes campaign, a feat Tripodi says Cricket Australia and broadcaster Nine Network will be “thankful” of.
“From a TV broadcast perspective last night, Agar gave a compelling reason for Australian sporting viewers to switch from the Tour de France.”
Asked if ambush marketing tactics are likely today, Tripodi said he would be “very surprised if our industry – marketing, media, sponsorship” could even move that fast” to create a meaningful ambush play.
Cricket-aligned brands – including Commonwealth Bank, Victoria Bitter, KFC, Milo and Weet-Bix – are the most likely to align themselves with Agar, Tripodi said.
Agar’s “broad appeal” also makes him relevant to a much larger range of brands, according to Lamacraft, who believes his options are not currently limited.
Is there anything that could dampen his branding potential? “He just needs to stop chewing gum the whole time,” Lamacraft jokes.